Ankle sprains can cause severe pain and discomfort and even limit mobility as it can be difficult to stand or walk with a sprained ankle. Minor ankle sprains often can be treated by applying ice and resting the foot. More severe ankle sprains should be examined by a podiatrist who can recommend appropriate treatment options for healing the sprain. Without proper treatment, a serious sprain could lead to chronic pain and instability. At Southern Maine Foot & Ankle in Scarborough and Windham, ME, Dr. Peter Ocampo is your podiatrist for the treatment of ankle sprains.
Causes of Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains occur when the ankle twists in a different direction from the foot. For example, if the ankle rolls inward as you are turning your foot in an outward direction, a sprain could occur. When the ankle twists or turns in the wrong direction, ligaments in the ankle are stretched out and can tear. Signs of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, tenderness, instability, weakness, bruising, and limited range of motion.
Some situations and activities in which ankle sprains are more likely to occur include:
- Performing high-impact movements
- Running or jogging on rough or uneven surfaces
- Playing sports or engaging in athletic activities
- Wearing shoes with little or no support
- Wearing high heel shoes
- Jumping or hopping
Preventing Ankle Sprains
It is possible to reduce the likelihood of spraining an ankle by building strength and increasing flexibility. There are several exercises that can be performed to strengthen the ankles and increase flexibility, making them less prone to being sprained. The standing calf raise is an exercise that can help strengthen the ankles, while a simple exercise for increasing flexibility and range of motion is simply tracing the letters of the alphabet with your foot. Another way to prevent ankle sprains is to wear properly fitting footwear that provides good support for the feet.
Treating Ankle Sprains
There are several options for treating and healing ankle sprains. Your Scarborough podiatrist might even recommend using multiple treatment methods to heal and strengthen your ankle following a sprain. Severe ankle sprains could require surgery to heal properly, but the most common treatment methods include:
- Pain relievers
- Resting the ankle
- Applying ice or a cold compress
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Compression bandages
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
- Braces or splints
See a podiatrist for treatment if you have sustained an ankle sprain. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ocampo, call Southern Maine Foot & Ankle at (207) 883-0865 for the Scarborough, ME, office location. Alternatively, you can call (207) 892-5072 for the Windham, ME, office.